Latest posts by Yusuf Nakhooda (see all)
- How Toronto FC Can Win Without Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore - November 21, 2017
- Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Game Preview - November 18, 2017
- Why No.4 Oklahoma has to Stay Focused in the BCS Playoff Hunt - November 17, 2017
The Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons have to feel as though they are looking in the mirror when they assess each other this week.
Both teams have prolific offenses that put them high on the list of divisional favorites when the season began. But the Cowboys and Falcons have struggled to find their rhythm consistently and therefore are looking up at rivals leading their respective divisions. The Falcons and the Cowboys each have a pressing need to defeat the other when they meet on Sunday afternoon at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Atlanta (4-5) has lost four of five games after a hot start.
Despite an arsenal of proven offensive players, the Falcons struggled to move the chains last week in a 20-17 loss at Carolina. Atlanta converted just 4 of 15 opportunities on third and fourth down, including a pair of costly failures in the fourth quarter.
Conversely, Dallas (5-3) has started to regain its momentum from last season. The Cowboys have won three straight, including a 28-17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Dallas has to continue winning in order to keep up with the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys trail Philadelphia by two games. Though the NFC East rivals still have both of their head-to-head matchups ahead of them, Dallas probably can’t afford to fall further behind in the standings.
Dallas fans can take solace in the fact that quarterback Dak Prescott is shining in his second season in the NFL. Prescott has completed 63 percent of his passes this season for 1,818 yards with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. Of course, the Ezekiel Elliott saga is still hanging over Dallas.
Last week, Elliott appeared to be starting a six-game suspension for violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Then, for the third time this season, the NFL Players Association won a court appeal that allowed Elliott to play versus Kansas City. Elliott made good on the opportunity, rushing for 93 yards and a touchdown.
With Elliott’s suspension upheld, there is uncertainty with the running game. Dallas is hopeful that Alfred Morris and Darren Mcfadden will able to shoulder the load behind the league’s best offensive line.
That sort of uncertainty has become the norm for Dallas this season.